Builds The never-ending build: My 80 Series

Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Looks great. It would have been nice to toss in some high steer knuckles and lift the one linkage while you were doing all that welding, but im sure it will work well regardless. Clean work.
Yeah. I wish I would have but I just couldn’t justify the money. At least not yet. Ha. At that point I just didn’t have the extra $1000 dollars. I was already stressed about the money I had spent and where this build was going. There are a lot of expensive parts on this thing. Something that I am not used to. Lol. This will be the most expensive vehicle I’ve ever owned not including my wife’s stuff. I already have gone way above my original budget so I had to pick and choose to keep this above water. I am not a super aggressive wheeler but I like to do big stuff. We’ll see how this steering holds up. If I have to I will upgrade down the road.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
5,333
Location
calgary
 
 
Yeah. I wish I would have but I just couldn’t justify the money. At least not yet. Ha. At that point I just didn’t have the extra $1000 dollars. I was already stressed about the money I had spent and where this build was going. There are a lot of expensive parts on this thing. Something that I am not used to. Lol. This will be the most expensive vehicle I’ve ever owned not including my wife’s stuff. I already have gone way above my original budget so I had to pick and choose to keep this above water. I am not a super aggressive wheeler but I like to do big stuff. We’ll see how this steering holds up. If I have to I will upgrade down the road.
I get it. My budget went out the door after we had kids. I've got one tons in the garage which I paused on working to swap, gonna do high steer and although its about half as much as the ruffstuff hellfires, its still a lot. As someone else coined the phrase, "perfection is the biggest opponent to completion".
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I get it. My budget went out the door after we had kids. I've got one tons in the garage which I paused on working to swap, gonna do high steer and although its about half as much as the ruffstuff hellfires, its still a lot. As someone else coined the phrase, "perfection is the biggest opponent to completion".
I like it! My saying for my electrical business is “I accept perfect or better” I wish I had the budget to live by this on my builds. Ha

Mostly it was my garage time that slowed down after the kid. I’d love tons under this thing. I figured since I have a reputation of the “light” right foot and still making it happen I’d take my chances with the stock axles. Did do chromoly axles up front though.

Only time my right foot gets heavy is in my Jeep. Every now and then it needs a little persuasion. It goes places no one would ever expect it to. It’s the Billy goat. My friend named it years ago. He called it “Eastwood”. I asked him why and got the best response. “It’s old and a little rough around the edges but it’s still bada**”.
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
5,333
Location
calgary
 
 
Oh cool, I’m a sparky too. Bit of a heavy foot, but don’t really get on rocks other than river bed, the 6BT doesn’t decrease the want for tons, had a few breakages and it makes sense with bigger rubber.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I spent a while, between the rest of the stuff on my busy schedule, putting the front axle together.

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I painted up the lockout hubs. They turned out pretty sweet. I even got my OCD on the job again and sanded off the words and the arrows. Even realizing that they will probably get ruined the first time on the trail. Ha. They will look great until then though! Ha

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It was really exciting to see all of this going together after paint. Started to look like the real deal.

It took me some time to figure out where to put the reservoirs for the coilovers. All in all it worked out well. Keeping the hoses out of the way of everything was the hardest part.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
A friend of mine stopped by one day to help me measure for the steering links. Once I had them welded up I painted them with the POR-15 just like my other links.

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I drilled out all the arms with a reamer bit that I purchased with the steering kit. Worked pretty well. Went faster than expected.

Sorry I don’t have any better pics of installing the links. All that you can really see is how messy my garage was. Ha

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I ordered a PowerTank super bracket to mount my nitrogen tank. Took a few minutes one evening to bolt it in. I just bolted it to the plastic. Seems like it’s going to be just fine like that since the bottom of the tank is being supported.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
The next thing on the check list was brake lines. I had already bought the slee stainless set (4-6 inch I think) before I got into all this three link and crazy travel stuff. Ha. I wanted to see if I could make them work. Another thing I would have done a little differently but it all functions just fine. I used that goofy thing that was mounted on the top of the axle on the driver side to junction the brake line to the brake hose. I would recommend using something different. I had to mount it in an awkward position which made my brake line a little weird but I had it and it works. lol. On the passenger side I made some brackets to lower the factory mount and get everything where it would work with that much travel. A little trial and error here. I also made new brake lines on the axle. I liked the idea of using the slee brake hoses instead of having really long custom ones made. My reasoning is that if you snag one on on the trail it’s possible that you could limp it somewhere that you could buy a stock brake hose and make it back home.

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I also found a route for the wires to my front locker.

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You can also see in this picture where I cut my exhaust off but we will get to that later.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
One night when I couldn’t work on the cruiser I did something that normally gets me in trouble. Surfing Craigslist. Ha. Like Superman and Kryptonite, it’s so bad for him but he is always ending up near it. lol. Well it got me once again. I found an off-road trailer. Also my buddy was selling his near new CVT rooftop tent for a great price. After being at the Overland Expo event I had way too many ideas running through my head.

It’s not the trailer I would build but the price was right. 700 bucks! I couldn’t begin to build one for that. Plus the time savings.

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Even came with this sweet hitch set up

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My plan is to do something like this. Not sure yet. Not going to start that build until the cruiser is on the road.

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This is the exact tent I got. This is a picture of when it was on my friends truck.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I spent a while looking at switches for all my auxiliary lights. I first thought of getting some factory switches that could go in the dash. After weighing the options of cost and placement I decided to just buy some rocker switches from superbrightleds.com. I saw some people putting them where the coin holders are in the center console. I like the look of this and decided to go this route.

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It was easy to do and looks pretty clean. I found the wire that turns on the instrument lighting and taped into that for the illumination of the description part of the switch. Then the other part lights up when switched to the on position. The one that is not lit up is a voltage gauge with two USB ports.

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All the wiring looked like a rats nest at first but I was able to clean it up pretty well in the end.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I ordered some seat covers from Lseat.com. Haven’t got them installed yet. I think I’m going to have a local upholstery shop install them. Looks like they will need some foam added. They said that they would install the seat heaters I bought also. I wasn’t really planning on doing heaters originally but figured it would be a nice addition since I was going to have the seats apart. I looked at getting some factory heater switches but I wanted to mount them in the dash horizontally. It seems that these are difficult or maybe impossible to source. I found some vertical ones but just couldn’t find the right spot for them. Plus they are pricey. I decided to use the switches that came with the heaters. All in all I think it turned out pretty clean. I just drilled some holes in two of the blank spaces to the left of the cigarette lighter.

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Then I tackled the radio install. I bought an Alpine ILX-107 double din unit. I hope it works out. Got mostly good reviews. It has wireless Apple CarPlay. Seems a little over the top but I figured since Virginia will soon adopt hands free calling only while driving it would be nice to update this old vehicle with some new technology.

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I also installed a CB radio. I chose the Cobra 75 WX ST for its compact size and reasonable price. Kind of had mixed reviews but figured I’d give it a shot. I mounted it on the driver side of the center console.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I got some cool little lights off of amazon to use in my rear bumper. I think I got the pair for just 30 bucks.

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They are pretty bright. I like that my rear bumper angles them down. I’ll use them mostly for setting up camp while in the woods so they should work perfectly.

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For all these added electronics I installed a little fuse panel on the driver side under the hood. It’s mounted to the firewall.

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All these electrical components reminded me that I wanted to install a fire extinguisher. My buddy runs a fire extinguisher sales supply store so I gave him a call. He hooked me up with a 2.5lb clean agent extinguisher. This particular kind is supposed to be safe for electronics and other components. It does not emit the white powder and residue that the regular extinguishers do. I mounted it in the rear on the left side right inside the tailgate.

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Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Messages
1,806
Location
east coast Canada
 
 
 
I got some cool little lights off of amazon to use in my rear bumper. I think I got the pair for just 30 bucks.

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They are pretty bright. I like that my rear bumper angles them down. I’ll use them mostly for setting up camp while in the woods so they should work perfectly.

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For all these added electronics I installed a little fuse panel on the driver side under the hood. It’s mounted to the firewall.

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All these electrical components reminded me that I wanted to install a fire extinguisher. My buddy runs a fire extinguisher sales supply store so I gave him a call. He hooked me up with a 2.5lb clean agent extinguisher. This particular kind is supposed to be safe for electronics and other components. It does not emit the white powder and residue that the regular extinguishers do. I mounted it in the rear on the left side right inside the tailgate.

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Great idea on the extinguisher, however you have it mounted to a plastic panel. In an accident it might become quite the projectile!
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Great idea on the extinguisher, however you have it mounted to a plastic panel. In an accident it might become quite the projectile!
Thanks. It’s not really that heavy. I think it will stay put with a decent amount of force. I pulled on it pretty hard and the panel would not come loose. I thought about putting some extra screws in the panel but I don’t think it will be necessary. Hopefully I will never find out. 😜
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
I continued to work on some small projects that I could do quietly while the child was sleeping. Ha.

My factory sub, or what they called a subwoofer, was toast. I installed a Rockville 8 inch powered subwoofer. I hooked it up temporarily to test it out. Little thing works great. Not going go rattle any windows but I wasn’t going for that anyway. For the price I would highly recommend this product. I cannot speak for longevity yet but it did get decent reviews. Lol. I had to modify my mount after testing because it was vibrating the metal. Basically I just removed the bar that goes up to the metal on the left side in the picture. This took care of my problem and still seems to be in there solid enough.

Rockville SS8P

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I also installed a small inverter. I chose a pure sine wave inverter because my main use for this will be to charge batteries for power tools such as my impact, etc. I decided to go with a small one so that I could utilize the storage compartment in the rear passenger side. I hope I do not regret this and want to go bigger in the future. I’m pretty confident that this will meet my needs fine but only time will tell.

Giandel 600 watt pure sine wave inverter
It has:
2 - 120v receptacle ports
2 - USB ports
1 - Remote power button with cord
(I did not install this because it also has a power button on the face of the inverter)

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Pretty much all the electrical work is done at this point. I just need to run some wire to the back to power the sub and the inverter. I plan to route this down the inside of the frame on the driver side. I am waiting until I install my white knuckle sliders before doing this.

Since the front bumper exposes the ac dryer I decided to carefully bend the lines so that it was neatly tucked right behind the bumper. I hope I did not damage anything. My ac does not work right now so we will see once I have the system repaired.

I then used some aluminum strap that I had left over from another project and simply bent it around the dryer, drilled a hole, and used one of the factory mounting bolts to reinstall.

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I have since painted this bracket black.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
My next little project was to finally paint the front grille. I just couldn’t look at the chrome anymore. It wasn’t in the best condition and I wanted it black anyway.

Took a little time to tape off the letters but it turned out pretty good. I like the letters chrome so they still stand out.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
With the front suspension mostly done I finally decided that it was time to order some rear shocks!

I chose the 10 inch travel radflo shocks with remote reservoirs and compression adjusters.

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I decided not to go with the factory pin mount on the top. If I had it to do over again I probably would. It was more work than I thought to modify the upper shock bracket to install these.

I knew I needed longer bump stops so I went ahead and made some new ones. Yes they are long. Ha. Just what it took to make these monster tires not rub anything.

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I mounted the reservoirs up on the side of the factory mount for the rear coil springs. This worked pretty well to tuck them up out of the way.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
108
Location
Rockingham Virginia
Here is another picture of the reservoir mounted.

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After mounting the rear shocks I realized that they were just a little too long when collapsed. I kind of wish that I would have made the longer bump stops and tried them first but I ended up moving the lower mounts down. I was not excited about doing this but it would have been way too much trouble to move the top up.

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Not sure how I missed the measurements but I moved them down 2 inches and should have just moved them 1 inch. Oh well we will see how they do. I can easily move the top down an inch if needed.

I know it seems crazy over one inch but they seemed a little too collapsed at ride height. Now the shocks and bump stops work really well together.

I also might eventually make some skid plates for the bottom of the shocks. We’ll see much I hit them. Ha
 
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